Professional Business Coaches

Professional Business Coaches


5 Key Behaviors That Define Healthy and Successful Organizations

What characterizes a healthy and successful business? Bernie Heine gives you his keys to business success.

Businesses are always focused on getting all the systems and processes, but is there something else?

Hi my name is Bernie Heine, and I want to talk today about other issues that we need to be focused on.

Most businesses will focus on "okay, we have a new strategy, so we got the right people in place, we've got to get the right processes, and we need some new machines, we need some new IT systems." All of those things can be summed up as the smarts of business – making the business smarter making it stronger. And those are all great things right? Well they are, but we often forget the other half of what's also important.

The Health of the Business

As Patrick Lencioni talked about in his book "The Advantage," we also have to work on what he calls the ultimate competitive advantage, which is working on the health of the business. So what do we mean by the health? Well, when you look at a company that maybe has been really suffering, a company that went bankrupt, what are they going to attribute that to? Are they going to say "we should have hired one more MBA," "you know we were short one PhD scientist," "we just changed that machine out one year earlier"? That's almost never what they talk about. What they get down to is "well, the senior leadership team didn't see this coming" or "they didn't trust each other enough to talk about what was really going on." You know, you have that proverbial elephant in the room that nobody wants to talk about – "well, that's that third rail topic that we don't want to touch because every time we mention it you know the boss always gets a little crazy so we'll just avoid that issue." That's usually what causes big companies to collapse, is because we're not talking about the things that really matter. We're avoiding those issues because we're afraid we might hurt somebody's feelings.

Trusting Each Other

So how much do we trust each other? And we're talking here not just about trust that people show up for work on time, but something we call vulnerability-based trust. So do we trust each other enough that you can walk into the room and apologize to your colleagues and say "I'm sorry I screwed up yesterday, everything I said I was totally wrong, we need to approach this from a different angle"?

Disagreeing with Each Other

Once we have this level of trust, which is the underpinning of a successful team, the next thing is can we have good arguments, because if we can trust each other we can actually argue with each other. We can have disagreements and we can fight back and forth, and by the way that's really healthy – when were getting all the sides of the argument on the table and people are expressing their views, and because we trust each other we can express our views. If we don't trust each other, we're afraid to bring it up "I don't even want to go there, I don't want them to think that I'm not part of the yes-man team that's supporting the boss." So if we get to that level where we can have these arguments, can we then come around and all come together with an alignment around a common solution? Can we put our previous thoughts behind us and agree that "yes, this is the path forward, we've had it out and discussed it in detail, and now we're moving forward with the one message to the organization"? Do I leave the meeting and I tell everybody else that's a crazy idea and I block it, or do I tell everybody else "this is what we're doing, I believe in it, it wasn't my idea but that's okay since we came together as a team and this is the place were going"?

Holding Each Other Accountable

The next thing to ask is if we hold each other accountable. Are we holding each other accountable for that solution or do we just expect the boss to hold us accountable? With the teams that work well together, the entire team holds themselves accountable for the strategy that they're moving down, the one that they all agreed to.

The Common Result

The final thing, the fifth element, is if we believe in the common result. Are we all trying to just maximize our own department budgets or our own bonus plan or just saving a few people in the company but it doesn't matter because the rest of the company suffers, or are we really looking for that result that helps the entire organization be more successful?


So these are the five behaviors that really build a cohesive team and organization, that build the health of the organization, which supplement the smarts. We still want to have a smart organization, we wanted to do right thing and have the right people and processes, but we need to also spend an equal amount of time on the health of an organization. And that's what really defines very successful businesses.


Call us at PBC for a free consultation and discover what it takes to build a truly cohesive and effective team.


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This is one of the episodes of The Thinking CEO with Bernie Heine at

How To Be a Better Leader by Using Emotional Intelligence

Bernie Heine tells you how to be a better leader by improving your credibility and emotional intelligence.

I'm often asked "what does it take to be a good leader?"

Hi my name is Bernie Heine, and I'd like to talk a little bit about emotional intelligence, and one of the keys to knowing yourself, knowing others, and really improving your leadership style.

Develop Your Leadership Skills

When I ask audiences "what does it mean to be a good leader?" and people say "well it's communication skills, it's having a vision, it's motivating people", all kinds of great stuff comes out. One of the key things that comes out over and over again is credibility. People want to know that their leader is a credible individual, so how do we improve that? What we do to improve our credibility? Well, a lot of it has to do with our level of emotional intelligence. We all have an IQ, which is a fixed thing about our intelligence that we can't really do much about – you either have a good one or you don't have a good one, and we can't really do much about the level of our intellectual quota, but our emotional intelligence is one that we can get better at all the time. It turns out that our emotional intelligence is the one that is most highly correlated with success in life, no matter how you measure success.

Building Credibility and Emotional Intelligence

There are four steps we can go through to build our credibility and our emotional intelligence. The first one is that I have to know myself. So I have to know what is it about me that makes me unique, versus where everybody else is. And then I have to be able to control myself. One of the things I learned in this process when I first started doing this kind of work was that I talk too much, and I have to recognize points in time when I have to slow down and listen to other people not be the one filling the room with words all the time. So, knowing myself then controlling myself. The next key step is that I have to know others. How can I look around the room or be in a one-on-one dialogue with an employee, with a prospect, with a client, size them up and then do the fourth part, which is meet their needs. So I have to know how to adjust my style so I can meet their needs.

Readjusting the Golden Rule

Most people are familiar with the golden rule, which is to treat people as you wish to be treated. The problem with the golden rule is, not everyone wants to be treated like me. And if I were to treat the rest of the world just as I’d like to be treated, I would alienate about three quarters of the population. So I aspire to the platinum rule, which is to treat others as they wish to be treated. So now you ask “how do I know how to do that?” One of the simple tools that we have, which is very effective for this process, is a DiSC analysis. This is where we divide people into four categories, and at this rudimentary level we can understand where people are, and then adjust our styles into their category. The basic way to understand that is we all recognize that some people are more extroverted and some people are more introverted; we have people who are more people-oriented, they care a lot about who they’re working with and who’s around them, and we have some people who are more task-oriented, who care more about the job they’re working on, and less so about the people they have to work with. So when we mix these two simple questions – am I introverted or extroverted?; am I more task-oriented or people-oriented? – I can divide into different categories and use this tool in understanding people at a very simple level. I can then know how to adjust my style in order to be more effective with them. Really effective leaders connect with their people. They’re connecting with them because they are using their emotional intelligence to know where they’re coming from, and then speaking in a language that they can receive. Work on your leadership skills, improve your emotional intelligence, and that’s really the key to success in life.


Call us at PBC for a free consultation and learn more about how to become your best and be one of those highly successful leaders.


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7 Strategies to Double Your Profits

Don't forget what running a business is about! Bernie Heine explains 7 strategies that can double your profits.

So often, business people forget the basic equation of how to run a business.

Hi, my name is Bernie Heine and today I'd like to talk little bit about the seven strategies that work together to double your business profits. Now that sounds a little bit unbelievable, how are we going to double our profits? But by making just 10% improvements in each of the seven areas I'm about to talk about, if you do the math you'll see it actually can double the profits, or even more, increase the profits of your business. So often, people forget about this basic relationship: we have to sell to more people, we have to sell them more stuff, we have to sell it at a higher margin, we have to reduce our costs, and if we just go to that very simple calculation you have profits at the end. If we work on each one of the seven elements and just make even a 10% improvement, you'll see how that drops right to the bottom line and can double the profits of the company.

Find New Customers

So what's the first one? The first thing is we have to get out and meet new people. One of the strategies is that we have to have our marketing focused on benefits. What are we doing for the customer? Remember, they only listen to that one radio station, WIIFM (what's in it for me). So we need to have benefits-focused marketing, so that we can attract the most new people to the business.

Remember Your Existing Customers

The second one is about our existing customers. I have a client who had a database of 600 past customers. What did he do? He marketed to new people all the time. He had zero strategies, no money at all spent marketing to 600 people, and spent all his money, about $10,000 a year looking for new customers. So what are we doing to stay in communication with our current customers? Are we involving them in some kind of a communication, whether it's a newsletter or we're having direct outreach, but keeping in close contact with existing customers?

Learn Why Customers Leave

The third one is what about past customers? Why did they leave, do we even know? Most businesses don't spend any time at all analyzing why people are going out the back door, because we're so busy focusing on the fun stuff bringing them in the front door, all the fun marketing ideas. But what about why they're going out the back? So doing a bit of an analysis on why they left, and then if we fix that we can get them to come back, give them a special offer.

Convert Prospects into Consistent Buyers

So now we have to convert more of them. How are we going to get more of these people to move from being a prospect, somebody that might have responded to an ad, to becoming a paid customer? This is about having a sales process. How do you bring them through the funnel? How do you move them through the process? Do you do it in a systematic way that you can improve on time and time again? This means having a sales process and detailing it out with flowcharts. Even if you're a one person company, you can still assign yourself the tasks of moving through the sales process, knowing where you are with each individual.

Increase Sales Volume with Upsells and Add-Ons

Once we have them, now we want to sell them as much as we can. So how do we increase the percentage that they're buying from us? With this, a key strategy is upsells and add-ons. So what else can we do for them? Sure, they're interested in this part of our services or this product that we sell, but what else can we do for them? If we've done a great job in the sales process of analyzing their needs, we might know of some other ways we can help them to go beyond just the basic product that we have.

Raise Prices to Increase Gross Margins

The next step is to increase our gross margin. So how can we cut costs and raise prices so that we have better margins on our products? I mention raising prices and most people think yeah right we can't do that, but what I find is that most entrepreneurs undervalue their own services – they just don't believe enough in their own products to raise prices, and they just need to take that step because so often if you do the calculations, you'll show that by raising prices you make a dramatic increase in your profitability, and often times you only lose a little bit of your business. In fact, you can afford to lose more business in that direction than if you say the opposite, which is why we're going to cut prices. Often times if your business is a 30% margin business, if you cut prices by 10% you have to add like 50% more business in order to get back to where you started from. So it's a lot easier to raise profitability by raising prices, and the likelihood of losing business is much lower than hoping that we're going to gain more sales by lowering our prices.

Reduce Fixed Costs

The next step is to cut our fixed costs. How often do you do an audit of all your fixed costs? Are you really getting the full value for everything that you're paying for in your business? Often times we just pay bills without thinking about if we're really getting what we should be getting for those things. So negotiate those prices and work on reducing your fixed costs so that the bottom line is the profits will come out. So if you go through the all the steps, just making a 10% improvement on each one of those areas, you'll be happily surprised to see a doubling of your income.


Call us at PBC for a free consultation and learn more about these 7 strategies to make small incremental improvements in your business and see an increase in profits.


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How To Elevate Communication: The Core Competencies of Coaching

Bernie Heine explains what core communication skills are needed to be a great coach.

More and more these days, businesses are embracing coaching principles.

Hi, my name is Bernie Heine, and I’d like to talk to you today a little bit about how these coaching core competencies are becoming more and more important in business today. Whether you’re a leader or whether you’ve been assigned to be a mentor to someone in an organization or to coach someone within an organization, we all can learn a lot from using the core competencies of what coaching is all about. And I’ll explain a few of those right here.

Bridge Communication Gaps

The first one is creating awareness. Most people are unaware of where they stand in life, they don’t notice things about themselves. We have these blind spots, and everybody else seems to see it but we don’t see it. People like me talk a lot as an example, and I never used to notice how much I talk because when somebody else was quiet, I just assumed that they had nothing to say so I would just fill the space with my words, because I like to do that. Becoming more self-aware, I recognized the need to take breaks from speaking, so that everyone else has a chance to talk. I’m very conscious about this now, when I’m interacting with others, to make sure that I don’t overpower the situation. But I’m sure you all have met someone on both sides of those equations, either that talk too much or that don’t talk enough in an interactive environment. This is one of the things that a coach can really bring out in people, helping them become more self-aware of some of those things that might be holding them back in their careers.

Another one is active listening, so if I’m going to really understand someone better, I need to be listening carefully for what they’re saying, and not just listening so that I have the next comment to make in a conversation but really listening to where they are. This is also a great skill that every leader should have when they’re leading a group, an organization, a team meeting. Are we listening to each other, really paying attention to what the other person is feeling, thinking, where they’re coming from?

Encourage Unique Thinking and Behavior

As a coach one of the core coaching principles is to reframe the situation. People often get stuck in a particular pattern, and they don’t think “well what if I stepped aside from that right now and viewed this from a different angle” – a classic one in sales is you view it from what the customer is looking at or in marketing look at what the customer is looking at when they’re reading our materials. But in an organization, it’s also always there – put yourself in the role of the assistant who is taking the orders from you, what do you think is going on in their minds? Helping people reframe the situation often helps them move forward, because we want people to be in action. It’s about helping people take action moving forward, and also holding themselves accountable. A lot of times one of the biggest benefits of using coaching principles in your leadership is helping people stay accountable. Just the fact that people talk about what they’re going to do, the fact that they have shared with you some of their goals and some of their ideas or their desires, or what they want to do with their lives, just that sharing is already helping them stay on a track to improving what they’re doing. By involving other people, we often help ourselves to be more accountable. Having an accountability partner to go out for a run or playing in a basketball game, whatever it might be people often use the ability to help us stay on track and move forward.

Be Positive with Employee Reviews

Finally, one of the most important aspects that we look at when we’re using coaching principles, is focusing on people’s strengths. We hear all too often, especially at the time of year when companies are doing performance reviews, ‘well this person needs to get better, they’re really bad at this, we have to work on this,’ we focus on all these negatives that people have and how to make these negatives into a little bit better. So they go from mediocre to just okay in some level of their performance. As a coach, it’s not that we ignore those, but we also look at what’s good about somebody, what strengths do they have, what things can they leverage in their lives to go from being good to awesome to become world-class at something. And everybody has something about them that they’re really passionate about and that they’re really good at. And when we focus on those things, the overlap of our passions and our strengths is what we call the zone of leadership. When people are in the zone, they’re unstoppable – they do amazing things, they work all kinds of hours because they’re not working, they’re just having fun and really enjoying it. So when we’re coaching somebody, we want to look for those, we want to help them identify what are those strengths and passions that really turn those people on. And then as a leader we are in an amazing position often times to assign work to that person to help guide them in their careers, through the company, or even just the position they have on the team to make sure that that’s what they’re leveraging and they’ll do really awesome, amazing work and become fantastically happy people.


For more on Coaching Core Competencies, you may consider the following PBC resources: 

Read the blog - The 12 Coaching Core Competencies


Download the white paper - Developing a Coaching Culture


Call us at PBC for a free consultation and learn about these coaching core competencies that will increase your employee's ability to work together and significantly improve the performance of your company.


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This is one of the episodes of The Thinking CEO with Bernie Heine at

5 Principles For Building a Leadership Culture in Your Organization

Everybody can be a leader! Bernie Heine explains how to foster leadership to boost your organization.

I believe that today, one of the greatest challenges that our society faces overall is a big lack of leadership.

Hi, my name is Bernie Heine and I'd like to talk a little bit about five leadership principles that can work together to build a leadership culture within your company.

Anyone Can Be a Leader

The first one I want to talk about is the fact that everybody can be a leader. We talk about leaders as being the heads of the company – it's the CEO's job to be the leader – but we can all be leaders – the most junior person, the intern that we hired last week – anyone can exhibit leadership properties. Being a leader means taking initiative, being positive, looking for the right answers, looking for solutions and not looking for the problems. Everyone has the ability to be a leader, and I think we've all experienced people like this in our lives, someone that wasn't necessarily the CEO who brought up a good idea to get people moving, to stop the argument that brought some other people together. These are all the things that we look towards in our leaders and everyone can have that position.

Selfless Leadership

The next important leadership culture to consider is to serve the team and not myself. Leaders think about serving the collective good – "what am I doing help the rest of the organization?" As opposed to focusing inward "what am I doing right now to make myself better in this situation?"

Establishing Long-Term Goals

Another important aspect is that leaders look to the future and declare victory and then work backwards. So, I make a statement about 'this is what I'm going to accomplish, this is our vision, this is where we're going'. And this could be for the company overall if you're the CEO, but even if you're a more junior person in the organization, what is it that I'm accomplishing even with my department, even with my role within my department, and make a statement about 'this is what I want to accomplish' and then I set in the steps to get there.

Be a Leader, Not a Victim

The fourth really important principle is to never allow yourself to become a victim. What do victims do? The opposites of leaders, victims wallow in the 'woe is me', they blame everybody else around them, and never hold themselves accountable. Victims essentially give up their lives to other people around them – it's the economy, it's the weather, it's my boss, it's the clients – we all have lots of excuses as to why we are not successful. But what leaders do is say 'well, all those things might be happening but I'm able to choose the path of leadership, I'm able to have a choice, I don't have to react simply to what's going on, I can do things about it.' So leaders take action and make things happen. There is a great book called the Oz Principle, where he talked about just drawing a line on a page and then asking yourself the simple question am I above the line, meaning I'm the leader, or am I below the line, meaning am I being a victim. As human beings, we vacillate across this line all the time, and we have to recognize when we are above and when we are below.

If It Ain't Broke, Break It Yourself

The final leadership culture I'd like you to consider for your organizations is if it ain't broke just break it! We have to keep moving forward, we can't live with the status quo. Leaders have to be bold enough to say 'even though this has worked in the past, we need to break some stuff to move forward.' In the end, you can't make an omelet without breaking some eggs. So let's get out there and break some eggs and make a change.


Call us at PBC for a free consultation and learn how to create (or re-create) a leadership culture - a solution to the significant lack of leadership.


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Motivating Today’s Workers: The 3 Things That Really Matter

Bernie Heine tells you what you can do to motivate your employees and boost their performance.

If we pay people more money or give them a big bonus, they’ll work harder for us, right?

Hi my name is Bernie Heine, and I’d like to talk right now little bit about some of the modern science on motivation.

Is Money a Good Incentive?

I have this conversation with a lot of senior leaders that believe ‘well, we just have to pay our people more money and they’ll do all the things we want them to do’. But, as Daniel Pink talks about in his book Drive, there are other factors that motivate today’s knowledge workers. While dollar incentives still work very well for people that are doing algorithmic work or manual labor type things – if I pay you a little bit more money will you work a little bit faster to build this wall or paint this room, etc. – sure, those incentives still work and you can get people to work harder and do more work if you pay them a lot more money. But when we talk about knowledge workers, it actually works the other way.

How to Motivate Employees Without Using Money

There has been a lot of experimenting done with people to find out that the more money I incent people with to do creative work, the lower their performance. What really drives people, the number one thing, is autonomy. Knowledge workers want to know that they can pick their own teams, their own work schedule, their own way of going about setting up the work. The second thing that’s really important is mastery – am I able learn new things on the job? Is my employer putting me through a training program allowing me to learn new stuff, maybe cross-functional, maybe learn about a different department, getting involved with people from another part of the organization? – so, mastering new things. That motivates people. That’s why people learn how to play musical instruments. Most people don’t learn to play the guitar or the piano because they want to be a professional musician, they do it because it’s cool to learn new stuff and it gives people motivation to know that they’re getting better at something every time they try. The third motivational factor is purpose. People want to know that what they’re doing has real purpose in life. It’s something that aligns with their own values, their own purpose for being. And if they can get behind the purpose of the company, if they know it well, if they believe in it, that’s really motivating to them.

Worker Autonomy

So it’s not always about paying people an extra dollar for something, or paying them the innovation bonus, or raising their salaries that’s going to get people out of bed in the morning and excited to work in your company. But it’s giving them a certain amount of autonomy so that they can pick and choose the things they want to do maybe, and the way they want to do it, giving them some leeway. The other one is mastery, or giving them the opportunity to learn and experience new things and get better at what they’re doing, excel in their own job.

Then finally it’s about maximizing purpose, what do we believe in, what do they believe in, the mission of the company, and really wrap their heads around it to do great things and experience a life that they want to live.


Call us at PBC for a free consultation and learn more about how you can motivate your workers to meet or exceed their potential.


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This is one of the episodes of The Thinking CEO with Bernie Heine at



A Great Sales Process Makes a Great Salesperson

Having a clear sales process can drastically boost your organization. Bernie Heine explains why and shows you how to create one.

Salespeople are born, not made. You just have some people who are naturally born salespeople right?

Hey this is Bernie Heine, and I’m going to talk today a little bit about the power of having a process to drive sales.

So most companies just assume that people know how to sell, we all know how to sell – people ran lemonade stands when they were kids and did a good job right? So you’ve got your natural born sellers and then some people that just aren’t that good. But in actual fact, we can train people to have a process in sales. We use processes for every part other part of the business – we have processes in finance, we have processes in manufacturing – but so often, people don’t think to have a good sales process. And having the process means we can know where we are at any point in time, we can adjust our strategies, and we can repeat the things that work well and avoid doing the things that don’t work well. We have to understand what the clients’ needs are, so we do a diagnosis.

Identify the Decision Maker

Once we understand where their pain points are and what’s really bothering them, then we move to how much money they do they have, what can they really invest in the solutions that we might offer. Then we want to know how they make decisions in their company – is it just the person you’re talking to or is there a Board of Directors that you have to get in front of in order to get your sale.

At this point I want to know from them a commitment. Are they willing to even hear my proposal? And when they say yes I want to hear your proposal that is the time when I actually for the first time introduce what I can do for them.

Close the Deal

After all this, closing the sale is easy. Most companies start the other way around – the first thing that the salesperson does is show up with a brochure or catalog or all these pictures saying ‘look at all the great stuff we can do’ and they try to sell you everything in the book, versus starting with ‘what do you need? maybe I’m not even the right person for you’. The most important thing in sales is you can’t spend your time in front of non-qualified leads. You have to know right away; if you’re in the right place you’re in charge of the process.

In between each one of those steps of the process it’s also very important for us to set advanced agreements. I need to know that I’m moving lockstep through the process with my prospect. Because the worst situation I can be in is when I’m ahead or behind where they are, or I leave the meeting thinking that the sale is closed but the client thinks I’m so glad he left and never wants to hear from me again. We need to know that we’re in the same place at the same time, so we set and keep agreements all along the way to confirm that we’re in the same place. It’s about having a process, keeping to the process, setting agreements, and then really doing the work of sales which is managing the numbers.

Manage your Input Numbers

What most people don’t realize is you can’t manage the end result. The end result happens because you’re managing the inputs to the process. The real input is how many people am I talking to on a day-to-day basis, how many people are moving through my funnel, are moving through the process that I’ve developed and managed in a disciplined way. That’s the part that we manage, that’s the part that I manage personally, and if I’m a sales manager that’s the part I’m managing for my team. Everybody’s got a number, we have to know what that number is, we have to know where we stand on a daily basis against that number.


Call us at PBC for a free consultation and learn how to implement a practical sales process that brings results.


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This is one of the episodes of The Thinking CEO with Bernie Heine at



The 3 Keys to Marketing Messages

Bernie explains the laws of marketing physics and how they apply to your business.

I can’t tell you how many times people share with me their marketing materials, and it’s all wrong.
Hi, my name is Bernie Heine, and I will talk today a little bit about the laws of marketing physics.
This comes from a book by Doug Hall called Jumpstart Your Business Brain.


Overt Benefit

The first law he talks about is having to have an overt benefit. So, marketing should include a benefit that hits people between the eyes, and they feel as though someone spoke to them directly.


The second one is believability, that there should be a real reason to believe. Like, “I can believe all that stuff” – we talk about the pedigree, we talk about certifications, testimonials from people you can believe.

Dramatic Difference

The final law of marketing physics is, is there a dramatic difference? What’s the difference between your company and all of the competition?

Apply the laws of marketing physics

Now, add it all together, applying these three laws of marketing physics. It really gives the marketing message a pop. People see it, they believe it, and they know why it’s different. They want your products, and not because you’re talking about all the things you do, but you’re talking about all the benefits that you bring. You know, most people are tuned into one radio station, and that’s WIIFM, or what’s in it for me? That’s what people want to know. And when they’re looking at your marketing messages, they want to know that it’s in there for them.

So remember the three laws of marketing physics: having an overt benefit, a real reason to believe that message, and an understanding of the dramatic difference.


So what makes your products and services different from everybody else out there?

Call us at PBC for a free consultation and learn how to use these marketing laws to boost your sales.


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This is one of the episodes of The Thinking CEO with Bernie Heine at



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